Being overweight puts you at risk for a variety of health problems, including chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Carrying too many extra pounds can also impact your self-esteem. Though it’s generally a good idea to take your weight loss slow and steady, it is possible to jump start your weight loss by losing 40 pounds quickly. The quick results will motivate you to continue with a less intense weight-loss and maintenance routine.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Before you get started on a rigorous weight-loss plan—and there’s no question that losing 40 pounds in a short amount of time requires such a plan—you should meet with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to handle the difficult demands.
Stop eating starchy foods, including potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Avoid even heart-healthy whole grains. Starches soak up and store water in your body. For most people, this adds five to 10 pounds of water weight. Cut out the starch, and those pounds will fall right off.
Reduce your caloric intake dramatically, to 1,200 calories per day. Make the most of those 1,200 calories by planning out three meals and one snack each day, consisting of non-fat dairy, lean protein and plenty of non-starchy vegetables. The result: You can lose two or more pounds a week if you adhere to the plan.
Measure every meal. Confirm the serving size for every food you eat and use a scale or measuring cup to measure amounts precisely. It’s easy to underestimate how much food you’re about to eat. So measure it.
Drink a glass of Metamucil every day to help keep you feeling full. Take your drink at the time of day when you are most likely to crave a snack.
Participate in a high-intensity cardiovascular workout every day for at least an hour. And try to squeeze in one additional hour of cardiovascular exercise into every week. Good cardiovascular workouts include running, swimming, bicycling and aerobics. An intense daily workout will help you shed at least one pound every week.
Keep a food journal to write down what you’re eating every day and to keep track of your total calorie count. A food journal promotes accountability.